The Corpus Callosum

Archives for March, 2009

The New England Journal of Medicine has four open-access articles of the topic of electronic medical records (EMR).  One article reports on a survey of the characteristics of EMR in use, and the extent to which they have been adopted within US hospitals.  The second discussed the barriers to the more widespread adoption of EMR. …

I saw this article in a couple of places before it dawned on me what the implication is: Drinkers’ Red Face May Signal Cancer Risk By NICHOLAS BAKALAR Published: March 20, 2009 People whose faces turn red when they drink alcohol may be facing more than embarrassment. The flushing may indicate an increased risk for…

The New York Times has an editorial written by Evo Morales Ayma, the President of Bolivia.  It has nothing to do with globalization, or the ravages of capitalism, or the environmental destruction wrought by multinational corporations, which is what one might expect.  Rather, it is about coca leaves.  He makes an excellent point. Let Me…

When I was at work today, I saw a headline that irritated me.  I decided I would blog about it when I got home.  But now the headline has been changed.  I will still blog about it, though. The original headline was: Report: Alternative energy quest endangering birds.  Now, it is worded differently: Report: Birds…

Effect of Modafinil on Dopamine

Today’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association contains a study that employed PET scans to determine the effect of modafinil upon dopamine concentration and reuptake in the human central nervous system.  They conclude with a caution that clinicians should be mindful of the potential for abuse and dependence in persons taking modafinil.…

Dr. Richard Friedman, professor of psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, has an article in the New York Times.  In it, he claims that reforms in medical residency training may be leaving young doctors “a little more hesitant and uncertain than you might like.”  At first I was hesitant to write about it,…

WSJ: Fact-check Fail

An opinion article (There’s No Pill for This Kind of Depression) in the Wall Street Journal contained the following unsupported claim: The sale of antidepressants and antianxiety drugs is widespread. In New York their use became common after 9/11. It continued through and, I hypothesize, may have contributed to, the high-flying, wildly imprudent Wall Street…

(comic from kxcd) This post will discuss some findings about the factors that are correlated to clinical response to clozapine (Clozaril® , FazaClo® ).   Clozapine is a drug used to treat psychosis.  It usually is used for persons with schizophrenia; sometimes it is used for persons with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or psychosis associated…

Obama has made two important appointments, to positions that will influence healthcare policy.  The attention so far has been focused on Kathleen Sebelius, who is in line to become Secretary of Health and Human Services, assuming she is confirmed by the Senate.  Sebelius already has attracted controversy, coming under attack by anti-abortion advocates.  As reported…

Good News About Lead Poisoning?

At first I was happy to see some good news on the Internet, a refreshing break from the avalanche of bad stuff rolling down every peak.  Fewer children have high lead levels Associated Press / March 2, 2009 CHICAGO – In a stunning improvement in children’s health, far fewer children have high lead levels than…